Why did you choose to release these pictures now? Why not before?
I had to distance myself from that time, only now do I really realize what we an important era we experienced. It’s like good wine, the longer it ripes, the better it gets.
How does it feel to look back on them?
I enjoy while viewing having witnessed such good time. The photos are time documents and the viewer only becomes aware of many things in retrospect. For example, we then didn’t have the best fashion taste but that was not really noticed in the dark clubs. But therefore we had a lot of really cool locations only accessible through mountains of rubble. A lot was illegal and was therefore twice as much fun.
What do they represent to you?
The images represent an era, just like Woodstock stands for a certain period of time. Although we were not hippies but we definitely felt like we owned the world. We do things differently and there is no tomorrow. The images are full of energy and show people how they celebrated then. A time without digital networking, without mobile phones recorded by analog photography. When films only had 36 shots and the development could take a week. We heard danced and lived techno even though we were totally analog kids.
Why do you feel people are so interested in them now?
That was our youth and we were young as we experienced that time. Everyone is interested in his own history and the images are sometimes a type of evidence that you really witnessed these things. Also, at that time there was no selfie-generation constantly taking pictures of themselves. Many people write me that they are happy about these pictures, because they activate their memories. The Zeitmaschine photos are a kind of promoter. They reactivate the past, sometimes I can even describe the smell of the past when I look at an image. As a chronicler of the period, I may well be a little proud of being at the right place at the right time and to have had the camera at hand.
How did it actually feel at the time to be a part of this movement?
It was great to be in the midst of it, rather then just present. 1991 when I started working in the Tresor, that was the ticket to the Berlin club scene. One was not only a consumer, ie guest but also a part of the nightlife-machine having jobs to do, but having fun all the while.
Through my job as a photographer at FrontPage I could take (almost) as much photos as I wanted.
Did you realize at the time you were capturing something so important?
I have always been taking pictures and shortly before the techno movement developed I documented the opening of the Berlin Wall. At the time I was aware that something very important was happening. This was not so with the techno pictures. It was just fun and energy. Celebrating the joy that East and West came together and you actually could do whatever you wanted. A little bit of anarchy in a yet so regulated Germany.
What do you want people to take away from your photos?
I would be pleased if the people who look at my pictures understand that it does not matter whether one is gay or straight, black or white, big or small, designer clothes or second hand. Back then we felt no real differences. We just had fun together. We made many new discoveries together and used the time to find our limits and let the energy flow.
Do you have any anecdotes to share from that time? Something that particularly sticks out in your mind?
I have quite a few stories in my mind. Many cannot and will not be told to the public. But there were, for example, the Tresor New Year’s party, DJ Tanith was on the decks and I stood on the fog machine. We smoked the cellar out so bad that the fog was already crawling through the window at the busy Leipziger Strasse. The alarmed firefighters surely thought that hundreds of people are burnt to death. When they then stormed the building with gas masks and oxygen cylinders we just thought: They look a bit strange, full of funky techno outfits and partied on.
Do you have a favorite picture?
I have a few favorite pictures, but one of my absolute favorites is the photo with the dancing girl of the GTO Performance in E-werk. That must have been around 1994. Shortly before the image was taken, the girl broke off two tooth crowns. But that didn’t seem to matter anyway. This picture symbolizes for me the state of complete detachment. No matter what others think, the main thing is we have fun.
How has clubbing and club culture changed in your opinion?
I haven’t been active in the club scene since years now, but I’ve been told by my younger friends that it’s actually just as much fun as it used to be. The whole thing with the photos and the social networking has affected they way people party, so they are perhaps not quite as wild as the time when no pictures were taken and then also could not show up the next day on Facebook.